As a busy accountancy firm, you want your clients to pay on time, every time. But late payments do happen, and that can have a serious impact on your firm’s cash-flow situation, not to mention taking up hours of credit control time chasing up those late-paying customers.
For many firms, the answer to this late payment challenge has been to opt for clients setting up a regular standing order to pay your monthly retainer. But standing orders are inflexible. Are they really the most effective way to manage your cash collection?
Would you, in fact, be better off using a modern Direct Debit solution to take payment direct from clients’ accounts? The answer lies in the level of control you want over your cash collection.
Here are 10 reasons why Direct Debit could be the answer to your late payment problems.
1. You can change the price when required
With a Direct Debit mandate in place, you can change your pricing without the need for clients to amend their standing orders. Once the pricing change is agreed with the client, you can amend your Direct Debit amount accordingly. The client gets a notification, as always, three days before the payment is taken, with no need for them to take any action.
2. You can benefit from automatic notifications
A modern Direct Debit solution, like GoCardless, gives you a complete breakdown of whether payments have been received, which payments have failed, or been refused, and keeps you totally on top of your cash status. Armed with this information, you can easily retry failed payments or react to cancelled mandates.
3. Direct Debit integrates with your accounting software
Direct Debit can be easily integrated with accounting software to make your payment and reconciliation processes automatic, saving you time and keeping your cash overview more up to date. GoCardless is already integrated into all the major accounting software platforms. Just choose the Direct Debit option for your clients to pay invoices and they’ll also be automatically reconciled – saving you hours of admin time.
4. Using Direct Debit removes cash-flow challenges
If clients forget to renew their standing orders, fail to update the amount due or if payment fails, you’re back to square one with your cash-flow problem. Using GoCardless’ Direct Debit truly solves the cash-flow challenge. You collect your cash on time, the client always pays the correct amount and any payment failures are flagged up and can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
5. It offers protected payments for clients
With a standing order, once your clients’ funds leave their account, they’re not protected or guaranteed by any financial body. Payments made by Direct Debit are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee, giving your clients consumer rights and protecting them from payment issues.
6. Direct Debit has no expiry date
Unlike standing orders, which expire after a given period, Direct Debits are ongoing, reducing the hassle for your customers – and reducing the likelihood of clients not reviewing their standing orders and missing a payment.
7. Increased convenience with flexible payments
Once a standing order amount is set up with the bank, only the client can change the amount paid – and even then a certain amount of prior warning is required, usually two working days before the order is due. GoCardless allows customers to pay on a date and at a frequency that suits both you and the client, keeping payment options flexible and adding real value.
8. Easy for clients to sign up across all devices
GoCardless makes it easy for your clients to sign up online. Clients visit the sign-up page from their laptop, tablet or smartphone and will be ready to make payments in just minutes. It’s fast, there’s no need for direct communication with their bank and the whole process is fast, streamlined and efficient.
9. Direct Debit is a simpler payment option for clients
Once clients are set up with GoCardless, there’s no more admin for them to do. Their payment happens automatically on the agreed dates, reducing their workload. And if there’s additional work to bill for, or if prices change, they don’t have the hassle of amending their standing order.
10. Use GoCardless across the UK and Europe
If you’re growing your firm outside the UK, or dealing with clients who pay in different currencies, GoCardless gives you a solution for taking payment across the whole of the eurozone. With one integration, you can take payments at home or abroad through the Single European Payment Area (SEPA).
Get real control over your cash collection
By moving over to a modern Direct Debit solution, like GoCardless, you take the responsibility for payment away from your clients and put the running of the cash-collection process firmly back under your control.
You also give your business clients a simple, straightforward way to pay you – Direct Debit is fast to set up, provides a guarantee on their funds and only needs to be set up once for the whole life of your business relationship.
As a payment option, Direct Debit is simple to use, cost-effective to run and boosts efficiency for your invoicing, payment and cash processes.
Find out more about the benefits of Direct Debit for your firm’s payment processes.‹ View all tips